18 May 2020

BREAKING: Premier League clubs vote to return to training this week

Premier League clubs will allow their players to return to training this week following a vote at today's meeting.

It is a major step forward as the League looks to move ahead with Project Restart, with plans for matches to resume in the second half of June.

Arsenal boss Mike Arteta is among the high-profile Premier League figures who have contracted coronavirus (PA Images)

Clubs will begin testing players and staff today and results should be made available just 24 hours later.

This means several teams could return to training in small groups as early as Wednesday or Thursday.

Clubs will also have to appoint a ‘COVID-19 officer’ from outside of their own medical staff who will ensure the health of all the players and staff is protected once the season resumes.

However, players will be restricted to training in groups of five and will still have to follow the strict social distancing measures.

The decision for players to return to training in England comes just hours after the Scottish Professional Football League decided to end the Scottish Premiership season, awarding Celtic the title and relegating Hearts.

Some Premier League players have voiced their worries about returning to work, most notably Watford captain Troy Deeney who spoke on Good Morning Britain on Monday.

He said: "Phase one is social distancing individual training with a coach. That's no problem, that's like going to the park. 

"Phase two will be next week six days of training three to six people training together with contact and then six days after that you're going into 11 v 11 and you can't social distance with 11 v 11.

“I would say 98 per cent [of players] are very much aware that phase one is very good, I would say 65-70 per cent of people are concerned with phase two. I'd say even higher after that."

The German Bundesliga returned without any major problems at the weekend, but there have been significantly more coronavirus-related deaths in the UK.

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